Mischief Managed wrote:
As I was re-reading "The Keeper of the Keys" once more, I really stuck on one moment:
"You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left for him?" (some other stuff cut here)
"Kept what from me?" said Harry eagerly.
"STOP! I FORBID YOU!" yelled Uncle Vernon in panic.
Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.
..."Harry--Yer a wizard."
The whole time Vernon had been standing up to Hagrid, not exactly an easy thing to do. We tend to read this as Vernon being a mean and biased individual who doesn't want Harry to know he is magic because that would be something good for Harry/Vernon hates wizardry and "abnormal" things.
Which may be partially true, but would simply keeping good away from Harry or a bias really cause a man to be brave enough to try to prevent Hagrid, from all people, from telling Harry?
I think Vernon could be trying to keep Petunia from re-living one of the worst moments of her life: when Lily found out she was a witch but Petunia was not. Perhaps Vernon has more insight into Petunia than even Petunia does. So he was actually caring for her and even loving her by trying to keep Hagrid from talking.
This gasp of horror, I think, was Petunia re-living the moment when Lily found out about her powers, when Lily became special. Exactly what Vernon had been trying to prevent.
I haven't reached that chapter yet but it's certainly another moment where hindsight really does make it seem so different. It's very strange to be seeing Vernon in a new light lol